Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Fed Meeting Minutes Released

by Osman Parvez






After the minutes of the Fed's November 1st meeting, according to the Wall Street Journal, "Investors cut the odds of future rate increases. Instead of expecting the Fed to stop raising rates once its short-term rate target, now 4%, reaches 4.75%, investors currently give slightly higher odds on a halt occurring at 4.5%."

The next policy meeting is December 13th, when according to interpretation, the Fed could begin becoming more opaque with its policy decisions, no longer signaling to the market its intended course of raising or lowering rates.

For you Bubble Watchers, the following minutes noted something significant, "The housing market had remained robust, although a slowing in house price gains in some areas and recent declines in home equity lending at banks could be indicating that the long-expected cooling in the housing market was near."

The minutes also stated, "Although they remained low by historical standards, both the thirty-year fixed mortgage rate and the one-year adjustable rate had moved up a bit in recent months and were notably above the levels seen at the beginning of the year. The average selling price of existing homes rose in the twelve months ending in September at about the same rapid clip as a year earlier, but the average selling price of new homes rose more slowly over the past few months."

For the full text of the minutes, click here.


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